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Ther. Ay, but that fool knows not himself.
Ther. Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his brain more than he has beat my bones: I-will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not worth the ninth part of a sparrow. This lord, Achilles, Ajax, who wears his wit in his belly and his guts in his head, I'll tell you what I say of him.
A chil. What?
Ther. I say, this Ajax
Achil. Nay, good Ajax.
Achil. Peace, fool!
Ther. I would have peace and quietness, but the fool will not: he there; that he; look you there.
SCENE II.--Troy. A Room in Priam's Palace.
Pri. After so many hours, lives, speeches spent,
Achil. Your last service was sufferance, 'twas not voluntary; no man is beaten voluntary: Ajax was here the voluntary, and you as under an impress.
Ther. E'en so; a great deal of your wit too lies in your sinews, or else there be liars. Hector shall have a great catch if he knock out either of your brains: a' were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel. 112
Achil. What! with me too, Thersites ? Ther. There's Ulysses, and old Nestor, whose wit was mouldy ere your grandsires had nails on their toes, yoke you like draught-oxen and make you plough up the wars.
Achil. There's for you, Patroclus.
Patr. A good riddance.
Achil. Marry, this, sir, is proclaim'd through all our host:
Patr. No more words, Thersites; peace!
Ther. I will hold my peace when Achilles' brach bids me, shall I?
In hot digestion of this cormorant war,
As far as toucheth my particular,
There is no lady of more softer bowels,
Fie, fie! my brother,
As fears and reasons? fie, for godly shame!
Achil. What, what?
Ther. Yes, good sooth: to, Achilles! to, Ajax! to!
You are so empty of them. Should not our father
Ajax. I shall cut out your tongue.
Ther. 'Tis no matter; I shall speak as much Because your speech hath none that tells him so? as thou afterwards. Tro. You are for dreams and slumbers, brother priest;
You fur your gloves with reason. Here are your
We do not throw in unrespective sink
He brought a Grecian queen, whose youth and freshness
Wrinkles Apollo's, and makes stale the morning. Why keep we her? the Grecians keep our aunt: Is she worth keeping? why, she is a pearl, Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
And turn'd crown'd kings to merchants.
What noise? what shriek? Tro. 'Tis our mad sister, I do know her voice.
And I will fill them with prophetic tears.
Cas. Virgins and boys, mid-age and wrinkled eld,
Soft infancy, that nothing canst but cry,
Hect. Now, youthful Troilus, do not these high strains
Of divination in our sister work
Some touches of remorse? or is your blood
Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel
Par. Else might the world convince of levity As well my undertakings as your counsels; But I attest the gods, your full consent Gave wings to my propension and cut off All fears attending on so dire a project: For what, alas! can these my single arms? What propugnation is in one man's valour, To stand the push and enmity of those This quarrel would excite? Yet, I protest, Were I alone to pass the difficulties, And had as ample power as I have will, Paris should ne'er retract what he hath done, Nor faint in the pursuit.
Pri. Paris, you speak Like one besotted on your sweet delights: You have the honey still, but these the gall; So to be valiant is no praise at all.
Where Helen is the subject: then, I say,
And on the cause and question now in hand
be not taken till these two undermine it, the walls will stand till they fall of themselves. O! thou great thunder-darter of Olympus; forget that thou art Jove the king of gods, and, Mercury, lose all the serpentine craft of thy caduceus, if ye take not that little, little, less than little wit from them that they have; which shortarmed ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce, it will not in circumvention deliver a fly from a spider, without drawing their massy irons and cutting the web. After this, the vengeance on the whole camp! or rather, the Neapolitan | bone-ache! for that, methinks, is the curse dependant on those that war for a placket. I have said my prayers, and, devil Envy, say Amen. What ho! my Lord Achilles !
Patr. Who's there? Thersites! Good Thersites, come in and rail.
Ther. If I could have remembered a gilt counterfeit, thou would'st not have slipped out of my contemplation: but it is no matter; thyself upon thyself! The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! heaven bless thee from a tutor, and discipline come not near thee! Let thy blood be thy direction till thy death! then if she that lays thee out says thou art a fair corpse, I'll be sworn and sworn upon't she never shrouded any but lazars. Amen. Where's Achilles?
Patr. What! art thou devout? wast thou in prayer?
Ther. Ay; the heavens hear me!
Achil. Who's there?
Patr. Thersites, my lord.
Achil. Where, where? Art thou come? Why, my cheese, my digestion, why hast thou not served thyself in to my table so many meals ? Come, what's Agamemnon?
Ther. Thy commander, Achilles. Then tell me, Patroclus, what's Achilles?
Patr. Thy lord, Thersites.
pray thee, what's thyself?
Of nature and of nation speak aloud
Tro. Why, there you touch'd the life of our
Were it not glory that we more affected
Then tell me, I
Achil. Patroclus, I'll speak with nobody. Come in with me, Thersites. Exit. Ther. Here is such patchery, such juggling, and such knavery! all the argument is a cuckold and a whore; a good quarrel to draw emulous factions and bleed to death upon. Now, the dry serpigo on the subject! and war and lechery confound all! Exit. 82
Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, NESTOR,
Agam. Where is Achilles?
Patr. Within his tent; but ill dispos'd, my lord.
Let him be told so; lest perchance he think
I shall say so to him. Exit. 90 Ulyss. We saw him at the opening of his tent: He is not sick.
Ajax. Yes, lion-sick, sick of proud heart: you may call it melancholy if you will favour the man; but, by my head, 'tis pride: but why, why? let him show us a cause. A word, my lord. Takes AGAMEMNON aside. Nest. What moves Ajax thus to bay at him? Ulyss. Achilles hath inveigled his fool from him.
Nest. Who, Thersites ? Ulyss. He.
Ulyss. The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy: his legs are legs for necessity, not for flexure.
Patr. Achilles bids me say, he is much sorry, If any thing more than your sport and pleasure Did move your greatness and this noble state To call upon him; he hopes it is no other But for your health and your digestion sake, An after-dinner's breath.
Much attribute he hath, and much the reason
If you do say we think him over-proud
And under-honest, in self-assumption greater Than in the note of judgment; and worthier
Here tend the savage strangeness he puts on,
Disguise the holy strength of their command,
Ajax. What is he more than another? Agam. No more than what he thinks he is. Ajax. Is he so much? Do you not think he thinks himself a better man than I am ? Agam. No question.
Ajax. Will you subscribe his thought, and say he is?
Agam. No, noble Ajax; you are as strong, as valiant, as wise, no less noble, much more gentle, and altogether more tractable.
Ajax. Why should a man be proud? How doth pride grow? I know not what pride is.
Agam. Your mind is the clearer, Ajax, and your virtues the fairer. He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.
Ajax. I do hate a proud man, as I hate the engendering of toads.
Nest. Aside. Yet he loves himself: is't not strange?
Ulyss. Achilles will not to the field to-morrow. Agam. What's his excuse? He doth rely on none, But carries on the stream of his dispose Without observance or respect of any, In will peculiar and in self-admission. Agam. Why will he not upon our fair request Untent his person and share the air with us? Ulyss. Things small as nothing, for request's sake only,
He makes important: possess'd he is with greatness,
And speaks not to himself but with a pride
Ulyss. O Agamemnon! let it not be so. We'll consecrate the steps that Ajax makes When they go from Achilles: shall the proud lord That bastes his arrogance with his own seam, And never suffers matter of the world
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
Enter his thoughts, save such as do revolve
By going to Achilles :
That were to enlard his fat already pride,
This lord go to him! Jupiter forbid,
Dio. Aside. And how his silence drinks up this applause!
Ajax. If go to him, with my armed fist I'll pash him o'er the face.
To sinewy Ajax. I will not praise thy wisdom,
Be rul'd by him, Lord Ajax.
Agam. O, no! you shall not go.
Ajax. An a' be proud with me, I'll pheeze his
Keeps thicket. Please it our great general
And here's a lord,-
Let me go to him.
And cull their flower, Ajax shall cope the best. Agam. Go we to council. Let Achilles sleep: Ulyss. Not for the worth that hangs upon our Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw quarrel.
Ajax. A paltry, insolent fellow !
Ajax. Can he not be sociable?
Agam. Aside. He will be the physician that should be the patient.
Ajax. An all men were o' my mind,-
Nest. Aside. An 'twould, you'd carry half. Ulyss. Aside. A' would have ten shares. Ajax. I will knead him; I'll make him supple. Nest. Aside. He's not yet through warm: force him with praises: pour in, pour in; his ambition is dry.
Here is a man-but 'tis before his face ;
I will be silent.
Ulyss. To AGAMEMNON. My lord, you feed
SCENE I.-Troy. PRIAM'S Palace.
Pan. Friend! you! pray you, a word: do not you follow the young Lord Paris?
Nest. Our noble general, do not do so.
Serv. Ay, sir, when he goes before me
Serv. The Lord be praised!
Pan. You know me, do you not?
Pan. Friend, know me better. I am the Lord Pandarus.
Wherefore should you so?
Would he were a Trojan !
Nest. What a vice were it in Ajax now,-
Praise him that got thee. shethat gave thee suck:
Serv. I hope I shall know your honour better.
Serv. You are in the state of grace.
Pan. Grace! not so, friend; honour and lordMusic within. ship are my titles.
What music is this?
Serv. I do but partly know, sir: it is music in parts.
Pan. Know you the musicians?
Pan. Who play they to?
Serv. To the hearers, sir.
Pan. At whose pleasure, friend?
Pan. Friend, we understand not one another whose request do these men play? I am too courtly, and thou art too cunning. At
Serv. That's to 't, indeed, sir. Marry, sir, at person; with him the mortal Venus, the heartthe request of Paris my lord, who's there in blood of beauty, love's invisible soul.
Pan. Who, my cousin Cressida ?
Serv. No, sir, Helen: could you not find out that by her attributes ?